Friday, May 25, 2007

Pigs or Towels?

Today is a day before weekend which is right before the National Elbonian Military Day, which is a national holiday. This means that today we work only up to noon, and on Monday we do not work at all. Great news for almost all concerned - except for pigs. Why pigs?

Well, Elbonian national cuisine revolves around pigs and grill. There is no better way to celebrate a national holiday then with a nice grill - which means that today is Black Friday for pigs. They shall die in thousands. God bless their..well, spirits, I suppose, since learned theologians tell us that pigs have no souls. In this regard, they* are somewhat similar to communists, atheists, robots and foreign cars, at least according to US extreme right wing Christians.

Some elements of Elbonia are more patriotic then others, and I happen to work in just such an element. More patriotic, in this case, means that we have started with grilled pigs already today, and this whole long Friday seems to be marked by smells of grilled food, free beer and of course, our 2nd most favorite national sport, grilled pig wrestling. The rules for this sport are simple and brutal, and usually a bigger pig wins. Since I am relatively small pig, I thought that all that jazz is really not for me, and decided instead to celebrate The International Towel Day, by writing my blog, wearing towel, and loudly reciting the wonderful Vogon poetry to any unfortunate who wanders close by.

All this talk of pigs reminded my that I should remind my readers that Elbonia is not unique in her love for pigs - we share it with our spiritual neighbour, Israel. Pigs are beloved in both our countries, and we treat them with great respect, kinda like we treat our cousins. There might, after all, be something true in that ancient legend of Elbonians being a lost 23rd tribe of Israel...

Prostetnik Vogon Jeltz's immortal poem that I recite today:

"Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
Thy micturations are to me
As plurdled gabbleblotchits
On a lurgid bee.
Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes
And hooptiously drangle me
With crinkly bindlewurdles,
Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon,
See if I don't!

Gashee morphousite, thou expungiest quoopisk!Fripping lyshus wimbgunts, awhilst moongrovenly kormzibs.Bleem miserable venchit! Bleem forever mestinglish asunder frapt!Gerond withoutitude form into formless bloit, why not then? Moose."

*Pigs, of course, not theologians.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Swords and Squids (also, Swords against everything except Squid)

Yesterday, me and a bunch of my friends (of whom a surprising number were connected with physics) went to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Don't read any further if you don't want to know anything from the movie in advance - things like this one:

The God is black, and is a women. :)

I had an enormous amount of fun watching the movie, despite the outrageous hollywoodiness* of most of the movie-probably due to some completely acid-trippy far out scenes that are probably too weird and incomprehensible for anyone that *hasn't* been on a far out acid trip. Fun! :)

Of course, this movie really wouldn't be worth mentioning if it weren't for the inimitable Johnny Depp, who is the perfect embodiment of the Hunter S. Thompson's vision of "one of God's own prototypes-too weird to live, to unique to die". Depp's portrayal of Cptn Jack Sparrow is, I admit, the only reason why I went to see the movie in the first place. His slightly swaying, constantly drunk super-lucid character, combined with by far the best lines given to any character in Pirates, are so much like what I feel most of the time, that I can not but love both him, his character and the movie itself. To misquote one of my favorite moments: "No-body move! I just dropped me brains!" :)

Coupled with that, the movie has some awesome camera moments: Apple-commercial like scenes in which Jack is pulling his ship on a rope, while stone crabs are watching, great scenes of ships disintegrating under cannon fire, Steve from Coupling, Cpt. Teach playing guitar,, Orlando Bloom, yes, fightin' for justice, evil chinamen, dead Englishmen, weird songs coupled with mass hangings, undead monkeys fired from cannon, dumb Englishmen, Shakespearean minor characters, dead giant squids, sword that everyone looks at (for no readily apparent reason), compass that tells the obvious, toy lead soldiers, smarmy Englishmen, Star Wars flying scooter scenes, the best squid pirate argument speech ever, 9 pieces of 8 (and no Star Trek references!!), honourable but confused Englishmen, extinct volcanoes, the guy named Larry, conversation about pirate's lack of vocabulary, Cthulhu tentacle moments galore, Englishmen being hacked to pieces by fishmen, and conversation about reasons why having fishmen as a crew leads to lack of discipline, at least 2 Nautilus moments (submarines exploding out of the sea). Also, you can see Keira Knightly's feet. They get more coverage then even squid, which to me is a sure sign of foot fetishists on board the producing crew.

Mmmmm. Keira Knightly. :)

"Mmmm! Peanut!" Cpt. Sparrow

* Hollywoodiness is when movie: has inspirational music playing in the background when some major character extolls other people to die for freedom, has scenes of impossible swordplay in improbable places, when bad people die just before they do something nasty to good people, when every major character has great teeth, when English fleet runs away after they lose one ship, when German forces retreat after losing one tank, when pirate towns look like Disneyworld sets, when major characters fight bad guys and get married at the same moment, when large numbers of redshirts die for no apparent reason, undead monkeys, evil Chinamen, magicaly regenerating ships, giant squid for no apparent reason, extinct volcanoes for no apparent reason, 50 feet women for no apparent reason, scrumping, people breaking off parts of their body due to cold, things exploding for no apparent reason, penniless Frenchmen, etc, etc.

Monday, May 7, 2007


A pictorial comparison of Elbonian Minister of Agriculture with our favorite american superhero, CitizenPrime (friday post). Are they actually the same person? Their methods of work do seem comparable, as well as their choice of clothing!

Friday, May 4, 2007

A weird day

Today started with, of all things, a RL pikachu lookalike (and I am not talking about my gf) on some German T-shirts. It turns out that this pikachu is an actual weirdo deep-sea octopus from genus Grimpotheutis, and not just another Elbonian politician in superhero disguise. Life seems to be stranger then fiction...and sometimes it just looks like something out of Call of Cthulhu.
The actual weirdness of the day started earlier in the morning, when my cousin and me (driving in his red, Batmobile) almost run over a middle aged hippie bicyclist who spontaneously (and suddenly) decided to use all 4 lanes of a rather busy crossroads to drive in circles, while listening to ipod thingie. The incident reinforced my belief that ipod thingies are devilish devices designed to weed out certain strains of genes from humanity's gene pool.
Which brings me to bacterial sex, a subject of some interest, which unfortunately, I never have time for. It seems to be *the* process for an entrepreneurial gene hacker/nanotech gadgeteer, especially when it is combined with the ultimate in geek niftiness, the portable DNA copier. According to wonderfully named Mr. Ugaz ("Stepped in" in Elbonian language), this truly revolutionary device (for dictators of small countries with no oil, for example) seems to work on principles akin to lava lamp - a device that enthralled and still enthralls hundreds of thousands of students who love nature.
Seriously, though, a cheap and portable DNA copier is just one step away from making a cheap and reliable Von Neumann machine factory. Since the best machines on nano-scales seem to be biological molecules (usually encoded by RNA or DNA), we only need to find a cheap and reliable device that creates cell-like environment, and bingo! we have our own nanotech factories. In a few years, we might end up exchanging DNA and RNA strands for cool new designer bacteria and cellular factory products ;)
This would be hot, if it weren't for the fact that other people wrote about it many years ago. It was also probably done in Simpsons, since it seems that every other good idea was done in Simpsons, too.
In the meantime, I was hijacked from my work by a friend who came nearby to plunder the military library-they were about to burn some old books (because that is what military libraries do - why sell or recycle when you can have a big bonfire?) and he wanted to take interesting tidbits for himself. While talking to him and his colleagues, I heard the most wonderful story about the men who managed to break his own leg while sleeping in his bed. This same person is (in)famous in Elbonian military for his enigmatic cloud of extreme clumsiness - he managed to fall under our Navy flagship while carrying extremely expensive video equipment (they dragged him out with a pole), he routinely manages to find uncovered manholes to fall into, etc. Of course, if there is a female of the species present anywhere on the scene, the results are even worse - another poor geek who probably won't breed. Because I am a small hearted person, I laughed very hard and secretly felt relieved in knowledge that there is someone clumsier then me.
Which brings me to duck genitalia. Which are weird and disturbing in too many ways.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The worst!

..fantasy novel ever! :)

"Grignr threw his hands up to shield his face, and flung himself backwards upon his buttocks. A fuzzy form bounded to his hairy chest, burying its talons in his flesh while gnashing toward his throat with its grinding white teeth;its sour, fetid breath scortching the sqirming barbarians dilating nostrils. Grignr grappled with the lashing flexor muscles of the repugnant body of a garganuan brownhided rat, striving to hold its razor teeth from his juicy jugular, as its beady grey organs of sight glazed into the flaring emeralds of its prey.
Taking hold of the rodent around its lean, growling stomach with both hands Grignr pried it from his crimson rent breast, removing small patches of flayed flesh from his chest in the motion between the squalid black claws of the starving beast. Holding the rodent at arms length, he cupped his righthand over its frothing face, contrcting his fingers into a vice-like fist over the quivering head. Retaining his grips on the rat, grignr flexed his outstretched arms while slowly twisting his right hand clockwise and his left hand counter clockwise motion. The rodent let out a tortured squall, drawing scarlet as it violently dug its foam flecked fangs into the barbarians sweating palm, causing his face to contort to an ugly grimace as he cursed beneath his braeth.
With a loud crack the rodents head parted from its squirming torso, sending out a sprinking shower of crimson gore, and trailing a slimy string of disjointed vertebrae, snapped trachea, esophagus, and jugular, disjointed hyoid bone, morose purpled stretched hide, and blood seared muscles."

Addiction hits again

This is my 7th day without is getting really really hard...tribbles...nooo...

So I went back to the roots of my space addiction - science! Ever since I was a small kid, I wanted to be a "space scientist". For a very brief period it almost happened - but then I decided to return to Elbonia, and this dream of mine stayed unfulfilled. Still, I try to keep up with news from my favorite field. I understand that technicalities of orbital mechanics are not fun reading for everyone, so I shall just post pictures. :)

Also, fresh from Jupiter! A storm is brewing! Is it yet another yachting championship for Dwellers?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

More Denial

For those who don't like numbers, just read the second part of the paper. Also, report on the subject that is very similar to the one being taught in our own Elbonian schools.

Monday, April 30, 2007


I am not bashing on religion, per se. :)

For no particular reason at all

..other then withdrawal syndrome from my addiction: EVE

Elbonian Defense

This Monday is an interrupt in my long weekend. Since tomorrow is a state holiday (Elbonians traditionally celebrate International Work(ers) Day by not working)*, vast numbers of my countrymen have decided to take a day off and just enjoy one really nice, relaxed and long weekend. Unfortunately for me, due to bureaucratic difficulties in moving various multicolored pieces of paper throughout the system on time, I actually have to work today. This is not too bad, though, since the rest of the firm's employees don't have to work, and so I have zero work to do.

I decided to catch up with the news.

First thing that I saw was that our own Minister of Love held a joint (meaning, Air Force, Navy and Army) military exercise for the benefit of an elementary school class (in Elbonia, class is about 40 kids). This is slightly strange, for two reasons: a) the exercise was held in Elbonian capital, which has no sea, and b) it was held *in* the capital itself, in military depot/garrison in one of the suburbs, instead of the more usual approach to hold it in the nearby swamp, err, field exercise complex. The apparent reason why the exercise was held at all, was because of our Minister's son, who had to bring his parent to school to tell about his work. Our beloved Minister decided not to give a speach to a class of 10 year olds, but instead opted to bring the school to his work. His son is now officially the coolest kid in his school.
According to the people in flats neighboring the base, the show was not too exciting - no military policemen fell out of the helicopters (like the last time a public exercise was staged).
How much did it cost? Well, far less then an U.S. day in Irak, and actually comparable with the cost of a day for our Elbonian troops in Jerka Jerkastan.
I say, money well spent.

All the other news were full of eulogies for our main opposition party leader, who died last night. Since in times past he was a leader of communist party, declared atheist (after meeting Pope John Paul, he decided he was "only" an agnostic), then leader of the social-democrat party, I found it rather strange that most of the articles focus on how he "accepted the faith", even though there is no evidence for it (he recently explicitly stated that he is not a believer). I mean, what the heck?! When did our Elbonian Catholic Church manage to hijack our newspapers?!
I suppose that many famous deathbed conversions originally started up as a story in religion-influenced newspapers..;)

Shaking my head, I surfed some more and I found out about recent interview of our Minister of Economics (the chubby guy-his team wore "Cho" T-shirts) who showed his complete ignorance of not only economics, but also the professional jargon. He managed to get an interview on TV after which everyone who knows anything about economics probably started to sell his government bonds and move their stock portfolios into other countries, like Hrbia and Crotoboltavia, who seem to have marginally more competent ministers (even though most of them had at some point of their past been unsuccessfull premiere league soccer club managers, crime kingpins, warlords, war crime suspects, state monopolists and local firefighting society presidents, kinda like our minister himself).

This was the moment I decided to just go away and watch some undead seafood instead.

* Traditionally, we all go out to a park and eat charity bean soup.